Brains and Nerves
Hey, I’ve got a really fun fact for you! Did you know that absolutely everything you’re doing right now is controlled by your brain? Reading this awesome article, sitting on your chair, using your mouse, and even how you’re feeling right now are all thanks to that big brain of yours!
The brain is a bit like a central computer. It’s connected to every part of your body and looks after things like thoughts, emotions, behaviour, movement and physical sensations (in other words, feeling hot, cold and in pain, or being tickled!). It links up with the rest of your body through your spinal cord and a series of nerves – but more on them later!
Your brain is made up of a few different parts. Each one has a sliiiiiiightly tricky name, but I’m sure you’ll start to remember them in time – after all, that’s what your brain is for! Ha ha.
The cerebrum is the biggest part of your brain. It’s responsible for seeing, hearing, talking, learning, emotions, feeling touch and more. The cerebrum is split into two parts: your left brain and your right brain. It might seem crazy, but each part controls the opposite side of your body. So, if you’re writing with your left hand, it’s actually being controlled by the right half of your brain! There are four smaller parts within your cerebrum that are in charge of different things. These are called “lobes”.
The cerebellum is a smaller bit located under the cerebrum that coordinates your muscles, posture, and balance.
The brainstem links your cerebrum and cerebellum to your spinal cord and performs a lot of actions that you usually don’t think about: breathing, waking and sleeping cycles, body temperature, digestion, sneezing, coughing and swallowing.
Now, as for those nerves we talked about earlier, they’re part of a big nervous system that runs throughout your body. They connect to your brain through your spinal cord.
Your nerves send messages from various parts of your body to your brain, and your brain sends them back. So, when you feel cold, your nervous system tells your brain about it. Then, your brain basically gets your body to start shivering. Or, when you want to pick something up off the floor, your brain sends a message to all the muscles involved in the action.
I’ve just given you a lot of new information, which might seem overwhelming! Luckily, when you learn things, your brain starts to create new memories. So, if you read this article over and over enough times, your brain will form pathways and learn to store everything I’ve told you. Pretty cool, huh?
Spinal cord - a bunch of nerves and fibres wrapped up in your spine. The spinal cord connects every part of your body with your brain!
Posture - the position of your body when it’s doing something.
Sleeping cycles - the different stages you go through when you’re asleep.
Digestion - the process of food going through your body.
1. Your brain weighs around 1.3kg.
2. There are more nerve cells in the brain than there are stars in the Milky Way.
3. Dreams are proof that your brain is working even when you’re sleeping.
1. Name three things that your brain controls.
2. The cerebrum is the smallest part of the brain – true or false?
3. Which side of the body does your right brain control?
4. Breathing is controlled by the cerebrum – true or false?
5. How much does your brain weigh?
Increase your knowledge by completing these activities.